May Edition is here.
Thurs. June 15, 2017
My second Tweet to Trump. Hopefully the irony will be obvious (to everyone but him):
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Breaking News: My first Tweet to Trump!
Weds., June 14, 2017
|He may not be mad, but a growing number of commentators allege that Trump is suffering from dementia, or is mentally subnormal, or is suffering from a personality disorder of some kind.|
Who is Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)? If the name is familiar, he’s the House majority whip who was embroiled in controversy when, in 2014, it came out he spoke at a white supremacist conference in 2002.
Just announced, to be published in October:
|Edited by psychiatrist Bandy Lee, who organized the Yale Duty to Warn Conference.|
On the advisor to the leader of the Free World
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
From The Washington Post: Is Trump Making America Mentally Ill?
Today, about a third of the nation’s population seems to be suffering from a reality discernment malfunction. Have they been ingesting mushrooms plucked from bull dung? Drinking water spiked with credulity-enhancing chemicals?
Thus, when President Trump speaks in his fourth-grade, monosyllabic, syntax-challenged verbiage, they hear lyrical lucidity. When he brags that he has accomplished more than any other president, save for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his starry-eyed minions nod their approval. Exactly no major legislation has been passed by Congress since Trump took office.
As Trump himself said, he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and they’d still love him.
This is the definition of reciprocal madness, which seems to have spread to the highest levels, as witnessed Monday in the strangest Cabinet meeting in American history.………
But what to make of the rest of these Americans who seem unburdened by such concerns? Or this president, who still can do much harm? More than two dozen top psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental-health experts hope to provide some answers with a book due out this fall — “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.”
They don’t diagnose Trump, which ethically they can’t do without examining the patient. They do, however, discuss his symptoms, which lead them to conclude that Trump is a “complex, if dangerously mad, man.” They also propose that his mental illness is affecting the nation’s mental health as well.
These experts will likely learn what many journalists have discovered: Only the already convinced will read the book, and the rest will remain convinced of their certitude. The trouble is that when one is daily immersed in clouds of distraction, it’s difficult to recall what “normal” looks like.
"For Mr. Trump, the line between whim and will is always thin. It is often erased in moments of anger, when simmering grievance boils over into rash action, exemplified by his firing of James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, after a weekend of brooding at his resort in Bedminster," N.J. From New York Tines article on Trump considering firing Mueller Trump Stews, Staff Steps In.
I can’t exactly say I watched the entire Jeff Sessions testimony. I did sit in front of the TV but he was so boring I fell asleep several times. The only exchange that woke me up was Sen. Kamala Harris taking Sessions to the woodshed, and being admonished by Republican Chair Burr to shut her cheeky mouth.
This turned out be the story of the day:
I have no doubt that Sessions had conversations with Trump before and after the election that if revealed would be damaging to the president. Dr. Borowitz.
Jeff Sessions walks the tightrope: Compromised attorney general must try to shield his boss and protect himself
Sessions is in a tough spot: He must prove his loyalty to Trump while explaining his own deeply troubling conduct
Mon. June 12, 2017
How normal is this first paragraph?
Are Republicans prepared for the possibility that President Trump’s abuses of power could continue their slide to depths of madness or autocracy that make the current moment look relatively tame by comparison? This isn’t meant as a rhetorical question. It is genuinely unclear — from the public statements of Republicans and the reporting on their private deliberations — whether they envision a point at which Trump’s conduct could grow unhinged enough, or threaten serious enough damage to our democracy, to warrant meaningful acknowledgment, never mind action. From Trump is likely to get much, much worse. Here are a few big things to watch for, Washington Post
New Yorker GIF cover
Psychological insights in layman’s terms:
Sun. June 11, 2017
The pro-Trump interpretations also do not take into account new questions that Comey’s testimony raised about the actions of key members of the administration, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, according to Philip Allen Lacovara, a former U.S. deputy solicitor general in the Justice Department who served as counsel to the Watergate special prosecutors.
“Comey’s testimony lays out a case that a prosecutor could regard as sufficient to demonstrate that the president did engage in an obstruction of justice,” Lacovara said. “None of that was undermined by the oral testimony that Comey gave.”
Even as Comey characterized Trump as a liar in testimony seen by more than 19 million people, Trump’s version of events has persisted largely unquestioned in conservative circles. Trump’s supporters and Republicans in Washington have moved quickly to defend him based primarily on the narrow argument that he did not violate the law.
How terrorizing a white Australian family became an act of queer defiance.
Review: I watched the movie. I waited to read this article until afterwards. Since I knew the title of the article as I watched the movie I kept trying to figure out how the Babadook monster became an LGBTQ icon. I really couldn’t.
As the movie progressed I figured out the monster was two things. It was a psychological manifestation of the mother’s unconscious and horribly unacceptable wish that he son rather than her husband died in the car crash.
It also was the child’s reaction to the death of his father in a car crash on the way to the hospital while his mother was in labor. My interpretation is consistent with those expressed by the critics I read on Rotten Tomatoes. It is a move about grief. As a widower and psychoanalytically psychotherapist I saw it as a powerful symbolic story of the nightmare of unresolved grief over the death of a spouse and parent.
Reading the article, I still admit that I only “kind of” get it how the LGBTQ community reads their own take into the monster. However, if some members of the community want to claim the Babadook as an icon, and say it was LGBTQ for various reasons having nothing to do with grief and the unconscious, they are ignoring the fact that grief knows no sexual orientation.
Apparently the “cowardly” refers to Comey testifying that he was uncomfortable when Trump ask his dropping Flynn investigation. Interesting dynamic that this leads to Trump disparaging Comey by saying he is cowardly… and why the quotes? So much boils down to Trump’s psychopathology.
Sat. June 10, 2017
Quote of the Day:
“Should I take one of the killer networks that treat me so badly as fake news—should I do that?” Donald Trump said on Friday afternoon, at a press conference in the White House Rose Garden. It didn’t matter which correspondent he called on. Every one of them wanted to ask about the same thing: the testimony that the former F.B.I. director James Comey had given on Thursday. “Go ahead, Jon,” he said, gesturing toward Jonathan Karl, of ABC News. Since he took office, the President’s personality hasn’t changed much, but his King Lear tendency is deepening. Before Karl could ask his question, Trump started musing aloud. “Be fair, Jon,” he said. “Remember how nice you used to be before I ran?” The New Yorker
|June 5&12 New Yorker|
Friday, June 9, 2017
A break from Trump: Debate the ethics of this
He once ordered an enemy’s young son dissolved in acid. Now Italy’s courts are fighting over whether a barbaric Sicilian capo should get the right to die with dignity.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Quote of the day (sort of)
“The president is not a liar. No, I can definitively say the president is not a liar. It’s frankly insulting that that question would be asked.” Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Longtime observers say Trump’s behavior with Comey fits lifelong pattern
NEWS & POLITICS
Many psychologists and experts have argued his personality displays clear narcissim and a tendency to be disagreeable, though it's impossible to truly diagnose the president based off public speeches and his apparent short-temper. Still, it’s clear more than ever the weight of presidency and new developments in the investigation into his campaign’s alleged collusion with the Russian Kremlin are making Trump angry.
And when Trump is angry, he tends to fire, whether it be through firing his aides or firing off tweets.
Weds. June 7, 2017
Do you want to work on your graduate degree in Trumpology? Of course you do! Here’s the first class, and this is the second:
Evening edition: My Take on Comey releasing his opening statement a day early:
Pundits are saying — and who am I to argue — that Comey has done this (apparently he didn’t have to do so) to stick it in Trump’s eye. This makes it a bombshell before his testimony and makes it a two day story. The talking heads on MSNBC are saying they expect more bombshells tomorrow when Comey answers questions he expects will come from the Democrats. Dan Rather: "Donald Trump is afraid that the investigations are going to reveal something that is very, very harmful to him…. what is the president af
Just watching Chris Hayes and how he noted that Trump has two ways of describing “periods of time.” One is a long period of time and the other is a short period of time. I wondered how his staff, and the staff’s of other shows and media, could search for these examples. He played clips of many examples. I found several websites that publish every Tweet Trump’s ever made. Here’s one from the LA Times. I just found a story on Buzzfeed about a site that has not only the Tweets, but every word he’s made in public.
I recommend that those who are interested in just about
the best elucidation of Trump’s psychopathology watch the half hour video below or on YouTube here.
Monday, June 5, 2017
Ex-Bush official, conservative Havard law professor unloads on Trump: He ‘infects the legal soundness of everything his admin does’
This is the first of a planned series of podcasts that Duty to Warn founder Dr. John Gartner is posting to YouTube. In them he will be discussing Trump’s psychopathology and unfitness for office with mental health professionals. Here he talks to clinical psychologist Harry Segal (see profile below).
Trump is out of control: Gene Robinson, Washington Post
Excerpts: The statements President Trump issued on Twitter in recent days lead to a chilling conclusion: The man is out of control.
Fact-checked Trump’s remarks Oliver said: “What are you talking about? They were happy because they secured a landmark victory for the future of the planet, you fucking egomaniac.” He goes on to play videos of examples Trump being unable to string thoughts together and egomaniacal.
But does any of it matter? The president, backed by his party, is talking nonsense, destroying American credibility day by day. But hey, stocks are up, so what’s the problem?
Well, bear in mind that so far Trump hasn’t faced a single crisis not of his own making. As George Orwell noted many years ago in his essay “In Front of Your Nose,” people can indeed talk nonsense for a very long time, without paying an obvious price. But “sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield.” Now there’s a happy thought. NYT "Making Ignorance Great Again" by Paul Krugman
The urgent need for Trump’s resignation or impeachment couldn’t be greater. There are legal mechanisms to avoid Trump continuing on and, like Bush, possibly rebranding himself as a war president. While it’s important for the investigators to be deliberate and thorough, Trump’s presidency is creating irreparable damage to the system as well as America’s stature as a superpower, so a bit of investigatory hustle is in order. Our president thinks his job is to be the most famous cable news pundit (or troll) in the world, not realizing that blurting 140-character comments isn’t the purview of the president and only serves to badly embarrass the nation. There are people who get paid to scream semi-coherent gibberish on television. Presidents have a far greater responsibility and their words matter. If Trump wants to be a pundit, I’m sure Fox News will gladly pay him to wedge his copious girth between Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade on “Fox & Friends.” But that’s not his job. Yet. It should be. His presidency is, itself, a crisis and he needs to go — now, before he gets a chance to reset his scoreboard with a major tragedy. Bob Cesca, Salon
Sunday, June 4, 2017
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MSNBC, at least, is covering the question as to whether Trump’s post-London Bridge terror attack Tweets were appropriate. Of course, for Trump they are not surprising for reasons anybody reading this blog understands. “Everything is about me."
Sat. June 3, 2017
Excerpts from this insightful article:
Trump is constantly battling feelings of shame and humiliation. We know that because he is frequently expressing “disgust.” Disgust is a way to keep shame at a distance. It’s a way of saying that something bad isn’t inside, it’s outside, and disgust warns us to keep away from it. Trump can barely contain expressions of disgust and contempt.
During the campaign we saw this defense emerge in regard to women; he was disgusted, for example, by Hillary’s use of the bathroom during their debate at Saint Anselm College, and fulminated about Megyn Kelly’s bloody secretions after she was tough on him in their first debate. Even Trump’s alleged sexual preference for “golden showers” during a sexual tryst in a Moscow hotel speaks, if true, to his struggle with shame. A sexual fetish like this is his attempt to overcome feelings of disgust by enacting a disgusting scenario (being urinated on) but scripting it so that everyone is sexually excited rather than repelled.
Trump is obviously extremely vulnerable to feeling shamed and humiliated. Moreover, I would argue that, in general, he finds women to be essentially and especially disgusting and avoids getting too close to these dangerous feeling by using women as things. Relationships with things are safer than actual intimacy and exposure.===========
As President, however, he finds himself under constant hostile scrutiny, and this scrutiny threatens his defenses. He is constantly compelled to preemptively reassert his invulnerability, his power and greatness, which come across as what they are: boorishness--a braggart desperately trying to save face.
A 700 page diversion
If reports are true, Trump frequently loses his temper, striking out and blaming others for chinks in his narcissistic armor. Of course he does. His outbursts are a belated attempt to master and control an environment that is relentlessly whispering—actually, at times shouting--that he’s a bad, inferior, defective man. He can’t stand being the helpless victim of these whispers and shouts. He’ll do anything to shut them up—fire press secretaries, obstruct justice, bribe allies, anything to restore the moat defending him against criticism.
It is Trump's gift to future biographers that he makes so little attempt to hide his psychological issues, but the desire to avoid being laughed at truly stands out. Perhaps there was some childhood trauma that led to this obsession, a schoolyard incident in which a bully pulled down Donny's short pants to the guffaws of the other tots (particularly the girls!). It would be only fitting if Trump, the world's foremost avatar of anxious masculinity, lived in terror of women's laughter, but he seems concerned with everyone's laughter, whether it comes from people or governments. As much as he cares about winning and getting the better of someone, defeat is marked by the ultimate humiliation of being laughed at.
Yet ironically, no president in history has ever been laughed at as much as Trump. Long before he ran for the White House he was considered a cretinous buffoon, one of the world's least serious people trying to convince everyone how serious he is. Even Trump's cartoonish hair, which looks like what you'd get if you put three separate comb-overs into the Large Hadron Collider and smashed them together at the speed of light, seems to be in large part an effort to avoid being laughed at for being bald.
And today there is without a doubt not a single human being on planet Earth who is laughed at more than Donald J. Trump. He's laughed at by ordinary people and by other politicians, by the rich and the poor, by Americans and residents of other nations, by Christians, Muslims, and Jews, by one and all. The Center for Media and Public Affairs, which has tracked the jokes in late-night monologues for years, found that in his first 100 days Trump was the target of over 1,000 jokes from Fallon, Kimmel, Colbert, et al, on pace to easily surpass the record set in 1998 when in the midst of the irresistibly salacious Lewinsky scandal the hosts told 1,700 jokes about Bill Clinton. Comedy Central even commissioned a weekly show starring a Trump impersonator, so viewers can laugh at him for an entire half hour at a time.
Friday, June 2, 2017
For the last fortnight, Trump has presented himself to the world as the caricature of the ugly American: loud, boorish and ill-informed. For nine days in Europe and the Middle East, Trump shoved, hectored and lectured, betraying confidences and demonstrating an ignorance of world affairs.
The French president applied a crushing grip to Trump’s tiny hands to show that he wouldn’t be bullied, and the German chancellor suggested that Europe may need to go it alone after 70 years, without its suddenly flaky ally. The pope gently conveyed disdain.
Trump would have been humiliated if he were capable of feeling shame, but on some level even he must have known he was being dismissed, for he responded as he does when ridiculed — with still more cartoonish bluster.
“Steve Bannon was running around from — according to my sources, bragging to journalists a month and a half ago that he didn’t have to worry about Kushner and he was going to sideline Kushner because of Russia, that he had information on the Russian investigation, and that he was going to sideline Jared Kushner,” Joe Scarborough said.
Below: WV Residents: If you’ll wear one of these pins let me know and I'll buy 10 for $10.
Democrats keep sending letters to government agencies requesting information — but the Trump White House is instructing those agencies to completely ignore them.
Quote of the morning:
Thursday, June 1, 2017
On Lawrence O’Donnell - Trump as “psychologically troubled as Nixon” — so just how “troubled” was Nixon?
Richard Nixon ate dog biscuits, got looped on martinis, walked the beach in his suit and lace-ups and spied on Ted Kennedy. Secret Service agents reveal Tricky Dick's bizarre behavior before he resigned 40 years ago
- Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace from the Oval Office on August 9,1974 before he could be impeached over the Watergate scandal
- 'Searchlight,' his Secret Service code name, was depressed and paranoid, according to a new book
- He quit playing golf, and declared it was 'a game for lazy bastards'
- Nixon and wife Pat traveled in separate compartments on the plane and slept in separate bedrooms
- Agents describe the time Nixon's pals hid a totally naked young lady holding a bottle of champagne in their trunk, as a present for the president
- But, says one agent, 'Nixon never got a piece of tail in his life'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2717322/Richard-Nixon-ate-dog-biscuits-got-looped-martinis-walked-beach-suit-lace-ups-spied-Ted-Kennedy-New-book-reveals-Tricky-Dicks-bizarre-behavior-forced-resign-presidency-40-years-ago.html#ixzz4ioGC8Tn0
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From Slate: We the Victims
Trump’s Paris accord speech projected his own psychological issues all over the American people.
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Neurological diagnosis from a distance From New York Times
In the study, to be published this week in the journal Brain and Language, researchers at Arizona State University tracked a steeper decline in vocabulary size and other verbal skills in 10 players who spoke at news conferences over an eight-year period, compared with 18 coaches and executives who had never played professional football and who also spoke in news conferences during the same period.
Conversation requires a series of mental steps, starting when the brain identifies the words needed to express an idea. The brain arranges the words in a recognizable order before the individual moves muscles to articulate speech.
(Emphasis added) As neurologically healthy individuals age, measures of the complexity of their use of words and vocabulary remain stable or even increase until about the mid-70s. But the study found a distinct difference in language changes between groups of players, coaches and executives over time.MAY NOT BE THE QUOTE OF THE DAY, BUT IT’S A START
Her (Eric Trump’s wife who is active in an animal rights group called the Beagle Freedom Project). father-in-law isn’t really into pets, which is now looking like a good thing. Given the way he operates, if Trump had, say, a cocker spaniel it would probably now be deputy secretary of agriculture. Oh Dear, The Trumps keep Multiplying by Gail Collins, NYT